Born 20 January 1889 at Mount Barker, SA.
Son of Richard Sorrill DANIEL and Susannah nee HAMLYN, of Mount Barker, SA.
Occupation prior to enlistment Printer
Enlisted 22 February 1916 at Adelaide, SA.
Served in France. Wounded 8 September 1916, bullet wound in left arm. Rejoined Unit 22 September 1916.
Suffered trench feet 2 December 1916. Rejoined Unit 22 December 1916.
Killed in action 5 March 1917 at Flers near Bapaume, France
Aged 28 years
Commemorated Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
Pictured on the Mount Pleasant Soldiers Memorial Hall Honor Board.
He was a reporter for the Mount Barker Courier which had an office based at Mount Pleasant at this time.
The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 – 1954) Friday 2 July 1915 p 3 Article
…Mr. J. Daniel, who hails from Mount Barker, has been appointed to succeed Mr. Wallent at the Printing Office. (Mount Pleasant)
The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 – 1954) Friday 6 October 1916 p 2 Article
LETTER FROM PRIVATE DANIEL.
Mr. Max Dumas has received a letter from Private Jack Daniel, who was, previous to enlisting, on the Courier staff. It was written in France on August 8. He says: -” I am at the front now so you must not expect a long letter. We have been here seven days, and are getting quite used to the whistle of passing shells and the nasty crack of the lurking sniper’s rifle. We are billeted at a farm house, and rise at 5 and start for the trenches at 6. Seven o’clock finds us at work building dug-outs and doing hard graft generally. Things are quiet at this front. We knock off at one o’clock, and our day’s work is done, but it is pretty hard on a bantam-weight printer to do navvying for six hours straight off, and I am always anxious to hear the “knock off ” given. Of course Fritz can lob a shell on our billet if he knew we were there. We do not always work in the front line, but if anything that is the safest place, as the snipers can’t get at you so easily there. I was in the supports this morning and Fritz sent dozens of shells over our heads towards the billets. When returning we had to traverse the road where he had landed the shells and it was astonishing to me to see the damage done to the macadamised road. The telegraph poles were stripped of wires and there were large holes in the ground everywhere round. One landed near a ruined farm house used as a dressing station, but a notice had been put up by some wag “Business as Usual.” The only damage done was to unearth a dead man from a little cemetery at the cross roads. I am quite well and happy. The war news is better than when you wrote, but I can tell you that every man is needed.”
In letters to his home Private Daniel speaks of the training they were receiving in France, especially the bayonet tricks they were learning. He said he had seen both Ben and Dick Westley, Dick Cope and Jack O’Loughlin. He was then 40 miles from the firing line and could at times hear the guns. In their journey through France they had passed through at least 80 tunnels and he is loud in his praise of the scenery. They were camped about three miles from the sea and on a clear day were able to see the coast of England.
…On Saturday evening Mr. R. S. Daniel, of Mount Barker, received word that his son, Private Jack Daniel, extracts from whose letters we publish in this issue, had been wounded, but the nature of the injury was not stated. …
The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA : 1880 – 1954) Friday 23 February 1917 p 2 Article
WORD FROM PRIVATE J. DANIEL.
Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Daniel have received further interesting letters from their son, Private Jack Daniel, from France. Private Daniel regrets that he is unable to write really newsy letters; he is unable to say what is happening around him, or of the sights or actions he has seen, for very strict censorship is exercised over all soldiers’ letters. He says that he had seen several Mount Barker boys, and amongst them he mentions “Wat” Pope and Fred Davis, both of whom he had seen recently, and they were looking very fit. In speaking of a church parade held in November, he says that General Birdwood addressed the men after the service, and complimented them upon the work they had done, he told them it would be necessary for them to keep a stout heart. The General urged the men to write home as often as they could; he said he received hundreds of letters from Australia, and he answered them all. The soldiers held their General in high esteem, and reckoned him to be a “jolly good fellow.” Private Daniel had seen two German belts with “Gott mit uns” embossed on the buckle. Speaking of Christmas Day, he said that they were having a spell from the trenches, so that they were out of harm’s way, comparatively, during the festive season. They had a church parade, but a strong, cold wind was blowing, and he was unable to hear the speaker: the parade practically resolved itself into a shivering contest. They had not received their parcels from Australia then, so they had no Christmas treat; however, Private Daniel says that he bought himself some butter and half a dozen eggs, and he made some toast, and he counted himself fortunate. He had seen aeroplane combats frequently, and witnessed the fall of a German machine from the estimated height of a mile. On another occasion he saw a British plane come down in flames but under control. It was a weird sight to see the machine volplane gracefully to the earth; it was a wonderful performance, but some of the occupants died as a result of the burns they received. Frosts are very severe, the water bottles freeze in the day time. In the frosty weather he says, it is possible to get about, but when the temperature rises the mud is often three feet deep.